Friday, May 02, 2008

A Salute to Mego 12" Batman

The 12" Mego World's Greatest Superheroes are often overlooked and that's a shame because they are well made toys with a lot of fun variations. The 12" Heroes began in Canada, when Parkdale Novelty CEO Morris Kotzer created the line by ordering the minimum. The first 12" Batman is largely the most familiar as he is rather common due to Parkdale having overstock up until the 80's.

The first 12" Batman has a unique head sculpt that was more realistic than his 8" WGSH counterpart.

While his gloves were of similiar material, his cape was a shiny vinyl and belt was merely sewn on.

The rest of this series was rounded out by Spider-Man, Superman and Robin who was 9" tall.

THe figures utilized "Skinny Bodies" that were also used for celebrity figures like Captain And Tenneil.

The artwork on the from utilized the 8" Packaging stock art which was actually dating back to the 1960's. The heroes heads in the bubbles can also be seen in the 1976 DC 8" card art.

The back of the box utilizes much of the same art seen on the original solid boxes.

The notable distinction being the crudely traced swipe of a Jim Aparo Batman from Detective comics 443 (thanks to Chris Franklin for that tip)

In 1978, Mego began to solicit the 12" line across the world, packaging for the 12" heroes can be found in UK, Italian and French packaging.

There is even a second release of this figure that believed to sold to the American market.

This second release of the 12" Batman has a new image of the caped crusader and the smiling hero head bubbles are taken from the 1979 DC comics 8" hero card.

It's interesting to note that the Batman figure has a small emblem, this is a legitimate variation and only seems to happen with this box.

There is an Italian version of the packaging as well but it seems Mego corrected the sticker problem by that time. This version of Batman has a cloth cape as well.

It's largely thought this figure was released in the US for a brief time before Mego decided to finally release a 12" Batman.

The back of the box uses the popular Neal Adams Batman that is also seen on the Japanese Popy Batman box.

Mego actually used that image of Superman in ads to promote the WGSH and who doesn't love that happy skipping Robin?

While the Superman box in this series recieved new artwork, there has never been a sighting of a revised Robin box although by this time Mego had swapped out the original 9" Robin and added a 12" figure.

In 1979, Mego finally embraced the 12' line in America, Fly away action was introduced to combat Remco's line of Energized Superheroes.

Magnetic Batman received not only a new muscular body but a revised head sculpt, man was he PO'd looking. This was possibly the most comic accurate Batman figure Mego produced.

Both Batman and Robin were given Magnetic hands and feet, a wonderful concept that had many Batman figures hanging from fridges.

The back depicted happier times with the Dynamic Duo as they hang from a girder. Mego made a big splash about these figures with TV and comic book advertising.

This line was sold in Canada well although boxed Grand Toys versions are hard to find.

What's interesting to note is the Magnetic concept only ran one year and didn't appear to succesful, by the 1980 catalog Mego was marketing the figures without the magnetics and in new packaging.

These figures represented the end of the 12' line for Mego.

The box is now a sharp purple and the flap now protudes the reverse of the other packaging. Fly Away Action is now written on the packaging.

The box has a stark feel to it, almost symbolizing what was going on at Mego at the time, a company who by the early 80's had lost a great deal of it's creative energy.

It's interesting to note that these Purple boxed Batman figures are incredibly rare with only four known specimens reported. One of which has a sewn on vinyl belt, so a variation abounds.

Mego must have shipped these out in very limited quantities, they were advertised until 1981.

The back of the box recycles the wonderful neal Adams Art used for the Wayne Foundation Playset as a cheery dynamic Duo going flying off somewhere.

In 1982, Mego pulled the 12' Heroes, although their tenure in the US was brief, it did make for some memorable and interesting figures while it lasted.

For More Info, check out our 12" Mego Superhero Gallery.

Buy, Sell or Trade Mego Superheroes at the MegoMuseum Froums.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home